Preparing for your surgery

Presurgical Screening (PSS) Clinic Appointment

  • Once you have discussed and consented to the surgery with your surgeon, you will be called for an appointment at the Presurgical Screening (PSS) clinic.
  • Before this appointment, write down any questions that you may have and bring them with you. You will have the opportunity to ask the team your questions.
  • We encourage you to bring a family member or friend to this appointment.
  • At your appointment, a nurse and/or a doctor will assess you and you will do a few tests (e.g., blood test, electrocardiogram, chest X-ray) to make sure that you are prepared for surgery given your current condition. These tests and evaluations are done to help the team better care for you during and after your surgery.
  • During this appointment, the team will give you important information and teach you about:
    • Your medications
    • Any necessary preparation to be done at home prior to surgery
    • What and when you can eat and drink before your surgery
    • What to bring to the hospital
  • The team will also determine whether any additional evaluations or preparations need to be done before your surgery. This may require another appointment in another department.

Prehabilitation before the surgery

  • Like running a marathon, being in the best possible physical and mental shape before your surgery will increase your energy and optimize your recovery.
  • Prehabilitation includes optimizing your diet, limiting your alcohol consumption, quitting smoking/ vaping, doing regular physical activity, and getting enough sleep and rest.
  • Having surgery impacts your life. We encourage you to reflect on any possible changes (for example, your mobility, diet, etc.).  

Preparing in advance for your return home after surgery

  • Identify a family member or a friend who can help you through your recovery process. A coach or a support person is someone who will encourage you on your pathway to recovery, and someone who will be able to assist you.
  • You may require special equipment for your return home to ensure that you are safe. You will be informed of anything you will need before your surgery. Make sure that any necessary equipment is already set up before you return home.
  • It might also be helpful to prepare meals ahead of time so that you do not have to worry about cooking and grocery shopping when you return home.
  • You may also want to set up a living space, if possible, to minimize your movement and going up and down stairs. It may also be helpful to minimize clutter to lower the risk of falling, especially if you will need a mobility aid (I.e., a walker) to get around.
  • Arrange for someone to pick you up from the hospital once you know when your discharge is planned for (often the day before), or you will need to take a taxi home. You cannot drive yourself home after your surgery. We generally expect you to be out of your hospital room by 9 a.m. on the day that you are discharged.
  • CLSC services may be required when you return home. If they are needed, the nursing team will make the arrangements and send the request directly to them. The CLSC staff will contact you once you are home.
  • If the medical team feels that you are safe to go home, but that you still need to be monitored more closely, you might be signed up for the Hospital@Home or Recovery@Home programs that are part of our virtual care program.

The evening before the surgery

You will receive a phone call from a hospital staff member. They will go through the steps with you and tell you what time to be at the hospital.

In the evening before the surgery, please follow these recommendations.

  • Eat and drink normally until midnight the night before your surgery, then follow the instructions that were given to you.
  • Follow any instructions for bowel preparation (if ordered by your surgeon).
  • Take a shower. Follow the instructions given to you if you were told to wash with a specific soap.
  • Do not apply lotions, creams, perfumes, make up, or nail polish.
  • Put on clean clothes.
  • Have a good night’s sleep.

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